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The Decline of the American Empire (1986)
"Le déclin de l'empire américain" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  November 1986 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,403 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 26 critic

Sexual revelations emerge when a group of academics and their partners spend a weekend at a country retreat.

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, (collaborating writer), 6 more credits »
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Title: The Decline of the American Empire (1986)

The Decline of the American Empire (1986) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dominique Michel ...
Dorothée Berryman ...
Louise
...
Diane Leonard
Pierre Curzi ...
Pierre
...
...
Claude
Geneviève Rioux ...
Danielle
...
Alain
...
Mario
Évelyn Regimbald ...
Theresa
Lisette Guertin
Alexandre Remy
Ariane Frédérique
Jean-Paul Bongo ...
Transvestite
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Storyline

Four very different Montreal university teachers gather at a rambling country house to prepare a dinner. Remy (married), Claude (a homosexual), Pierre (involved with a girlfriend) and Alain (a bachelor) discuss sex, the female body and their affairs with them. Meanwhile, their four female guests, Louise (Remy's wife of 15 years), Dominique (a spinster), Diane (a divorcée) and Danielle (Pierre's girlfriend) are spending the time at a downtown health gym. They also discuss sex, the female body and, naturally, men. Later in the evening, they finally meet at the country house and have dinner. The discussion? Well, you can guess it... However, a ninth guest, named Mario, who used to know Diane, drops in on the group for some talk and has a surprise of his own. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sex | dinner | university | gym | weekend | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Decline of the American Empire  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

CAD 2,200,000 (Canada)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house in which the majority of the events take place, in Magog, burned down in 1989, was later rebuilt. The scene in which one of the women characters is having sex, seen through a window from outside, was actually shot through a garage window. The actress was sitting on the snow tires which the owner of the house stored in the garage. She told him that, thanks to the tires, it was one of the most comfortable scenes she had ever done. See more »

Connections

Featured in Montréal vu par... (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Music themes
by George Frideric Handel.
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User Reviews

 
A Movie that Reflects the Social and Sxual Liberation of Quebec
2 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Having lived and taught at a francophone public university in Montreal in the early 1970's, I found this movie (just recently available through Netflix) accurately reflecting the preoccupation with sexual liberation, sexual experimentation and gender equality among so many Quebecois. Starting in the 60's, and definitely continuing into the 70's, Quebecois totally overthrew centuries of social control exercised by a particularly conservative Catholic church. Except for the 17th century language with its unique pronunciation, and maybe "cabane-a-sucre" (maple syrup) parties in late winter, countless traditions and social hierarchies apparently were scrapped. I believe sexual exploration and questioning of authority went far deeper than in the US, at least among the many urban middle and working class young people I met in that period. Yes, "Decline ..." is wordy, but words have their own eroticism, and mind-body integration is a big part of the sexual liberation the characters were facing, for better or worse. If you like this movie don't miss the sequel, The Barbarian Invasions, which reexamines these characters from a (hopefully) more mature perspective, skillfully weaves death and desire, and is just a great movie.


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